And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground of our own feet and learn to be at home. -Wendell Berry
Just as the pursuit of our addictions keeps us constantly running away from our inner selves, in constant retreat from the ability to calmly accept and experience life, successful recovery must always return us to this very ability. In recovery we have to gain the skills to stand on our own ground—emotionally as well as physically—and learn to comfortably experience life as it unfolds around us. Often, just removing the addictive substance or behavior will make parts of life much more enjoyable right away, but almost invariably, we will have to do more to successfully navigate through our lives while remaining addiction free. Through the process of recovery, we can eventually return to the natural state of standing comfortably within our own skin without feeling the need to escape. As today’s quotation reminds us, this process can be arduous and humbling, but also joyous. Nothing worthwhile is handed to us freely, and recovery from addiction truly epitomizes this principle. Often letting go of that which keeps us mired in our addiction will tear away our emotional skin before it slowly heals over. But the results are profoundly worth the work as we learn to become comfortably seated within the true experience of our lives.